BioDundee 2021: Focus on Covid response by pharmaceutical sector

How Covid-19 brought the pharmaceutical sector together to “push the boundaries” will be discussed at this year’s BioDundee conference.

The BioDundee International Conference will return as a free online event on May 12.

Celebrating its 20th year, the conference highlights and promotes the life sciences and healthcare sectors in Dundee.

Among the six sessions packed with industry experts is a focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain and its response to the pandemic.

Dave Tudor, managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), will chair the session.

He will be joined by Dr Julie Brady, business development manager for drug discovery at University of Dundee; Tom Shepherd, chief executive of Captor Therapeutics; Colin MacKay, chief executive of  Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services and John Arthur, operations director at MMIC.

They will discuss the next steps in implementing the response plan, including improved use of data and collaboration between industry, the NHS and government.

It will also consider the creation of a vaccines and advanced therapies strategy.

Ms Brady highlighted the importance of the session.

She said: “A successful industry co-exists with a successful supply chain, including materials and manufacturing capacity, and perhaps more importantly, innovation.

“In the pharmaceutical sector the thriving industry base feeds upon innovation, often from the academic base, both in terms of new ideas for medicines and vaccines as well as improving manufacturing processes.

“This session will look at how Covid-19 has brought the pharmaceutical sector together to push the boundaries of scientific response whilst maintaining safety and public trust.”

BioDundee will be delivered by DC Thomson & Co Ltd for the first time this year and is held in association with AMICULUM and Medtronic.

The title of this year’s conference is ‘Life Sciences and Healthcare: Key Sectors for Economic Recovery’. 

Another session will consider animal health, agri-tech and aquaculture opportunities in Scotland.

John MacKenzie, chief executive of Roslin Innovation Centre, will act as chair.

Panalists include David Farquhar, chief executive of Intelligent Growth Solutions; Dr Jenna Bowen, a postdoctoral researcher at SRUC; Dr Simon Doherty from the Institute of Global Food Security; and Dr Lawrence Brown, a board member of British Veterinary Association’s Scottish Council.

People can register for the free event at